Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. - Red Buttons
While mothers are often showered with flowers, praise and mushy Hallmark commercials on their designated day, Father’s Day is often celebrated with handmade gifts and cards. Then dad will retreat to his favorite getaway or don his new BBQ apron and hit the grill. It’s also a time when every entertainment outlet compiles a list of their favorite dads. But let’s not forget those funny, crazy and even sad days when some of TV’s most recognizable faces either started or expanded their broods.
Pam and Jim (The Office) - Just like so many other milestones in Pam and Jim’s relationship, the office played a big role when Pam went into labor. Determined to hold off going to the hospital as long as possible for insurance reasons, the whole Dunder Mifflin/Sabre crew shared in Pam’s labor pains while Jim became unglued by Pam’s insistence she remain at work. Eventually, he retreated to his car unable to cope. After admitting her fears about giving birth were the real reason that she was trying to stall the inevitable, she got a funny and moving pep talk from Jim, Michael and Kevin. The couple received a police escort to the hospital-Dwight with a siren-just in time to deliver daughter CeCe.
Kim and Kroy Biermann (Don't Be Tardy) - After Kim made an appearance on The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion show sans wig, looking natural and tasteful, she was back to her drag queen ways when the second season of her show opened with her in labor. Aside from Dolly Parton, it’s hard to imagine any woman giving birth while wearing, what has to be, several pounds of fake hair and sporting a full face of makeup. Not one to deny herself anything for long, she dictated to her daughters and Troy and laundry list of foods that she wanted as soon as little Kash popped out. We were spared any Knocked Up shots, as the camera men must have raced for the exits as soon as that baby started to crown.
Ross and Rachel (Friends) - It seemed like it took little Emma as long to arrive as it took her parents to finally decide to get back together for good. Rachel had to endure a bevy of expectant moms as they came and went including: an abrasive Debi Mazar (Is there any other kind?) and her peeping Tom husband, a woman (Rachael Harris) who was eager to share every intimate detail of her own birth and finally Chandler’s ex and her new hearing-impaired husband. Chandler and Monica made the monumental decision to start trying to conceive, immediately. Phoebe enlisted Joey to help her get all the deets on a handsome hospital patient. This episode had all of the typical Friends hijinks but a sweet, sentimental ending.
Ricky and Lucy (I Love Lucy) - Since these were the good old days when women were unconscious during childbirth and their husbands waited in another room, Lucy’s groundbreaking pregnancy kind of came to an end with a whimper as opposed to a bang. Most of the humor was the overly solicitous behavior of Ricky, who hoped his wife would give birth before he was due to arrive at work for his nightly performance. Fred, Ethel and Ricky’s attempt to get Lucy out the door and into a cab remains one of the show’s funniest physical comedy bits.
Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley (Downton Abbey) - When writing about Lady Mary the words warm and maternal don’t exactly spring to mind. It almost seemed fortuitous during her and Matthew’s fertility struggles that this upper-crust b**ch on wheels would wind up barren and childless. Being pregnant made no positive changes to her disposition, but Matthew was the one glowing. Mary fared better giving birth than her poor sister. This time it was the father who unexpectedly passed away. This family ought to consider putting the kibosh on any future plans to procreate.
Jay and Gloria (Modern Family) - Gloria, determined to make Manny’s last birthday as an only child special, planned her precocious son a surprise party. Her plans hit an unexpected snag when a guest, in utero, decided to RSVP yes. Try as she might, the tenacious Colombian beauty tried to fight Mother Nature but to no avail.
Briana and Ryan (The Real Housewives of Orange County) - In an attempt to distract viewers from Vicki’s very recent and very obvious plastic surgery, the powers at be at Bravo (Andy Cohen) gave viewers an intimate look at the birth of Brianna’s son Troy via home movies. Briana’s suffering was probably one of the few genuine moments caught on film throughout the course of any of the franchises.
Quinn and Puck (Glee) - Quinn and Puck have the distinction, as far as I know, of being the only teen parents to have had a soundtrack for the birth of their child. It was kind of like watching The Wizard of Oz and listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon at the same time. As Rachel watched both Vocal Adrenaline’s performance and her hopes of winning regionals slip away, Quinn delivered the baby girl she would be putting up for adoption.
Snow and Charming (Once Upon a Time) - Snow developed a contingency plan to combat the Evil Queen/Regina’s curse whereupon she would escape and work out the details of rescuing everyone else later. Unfortunately, she went into labor which left room for only herself or her newborn daughter in the magical tree. The happy couple barely had time to cut the umbilical cord before they were forced to send their daughter Emma away from fairy-tale land. She ended up on the side of the road in a less enchanted time and place that the rest of us call reality.
Brennan and Booth (Bones) - No one can accuse the Bones’ writers of being subtle. Workaholics Brennan and Booth were on a case when Brennan started having labor pains. The couple, who were miles away from a hospital, was forced to stop at an inn where an obviously mentally unstable proprietor offered them shelter in his barn. This storyline might have worked the first time around, but who in this day and age would force a pregnant woman to have her child in a barn? Given Brennan’s previous objections of having the baby in a hospital, it is possible to consider this over-the-top alternative, a very happy ending.